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Engineering Success. A positive alternative to generic mindset messaging

In general I find that there is still far too much emphasis in schools on the generic language of growth mindset, the learning pit, resilience, ‘learning to learn’ and broad-brush life-goal motivation.  This has its place at the level of a broad ethos in a school. It’s all part of creating the positive ‘feels’ we … Continue reading

Riding the Rosenshine Wave.

Well. What a week it’s been.  As I write this I’m seeing that my new Rosenshine’s Principles in Action booklet is still in the top 50 of all books on Amazon and I’m stunned – as I have been all week.   This post is simply a way to capture the moment because, for sure, … Continue reading

Timeline Controversies

Gosh – it’s been an acrimonious week on my twitter timeline.  Mostly my fault.  I’ve had to mute a lot of conversations just because I’d had enough.  I’ve blocked a few rude people too.  That’s my policy I’m afraid: if I don’t know you or can’t tell who you are and you’re just rude – addressing comments to others … Continue reading

Teaching and Learning Agenda 2019/20

The summer term is often a time when people gather their thoughts for the year ahead.  The work I do with schools and colleges is largely driven by a medium term improvement agenda: combining some initial support –  establishing areas to improve in current practice, setting some goals for the next 12-18 months – and … Continue reading

Ofsted “Inadequate” – the emblem of our toxic system

I’ve made the case time and time again that Ofsted Grading is a disaster.  For example in this post: Five Reasons to Ditch Ofsted Grades I’ve also made the case time and time again that our current accountability culture is excessive with very significant negative consequences for schools, leaders, teachers, children.. and by association, parents – … Continue reading

Don’t need this pressure on: Towards intelligent, sustainable accountability.

I wonder how much longer we will go down the accountability road we’re on before politicians, DFE, Ofsted and some of the beneficiaries of the current system realise just how bad things are; before they realise that they themselves are making things worse; before they change tack. You only have to read the powerful recent … Continue reading

Do students have agency or not?

agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. In debates about learning and behaviour, I often think that people in education are conflicted about the extent of student agency.  Do students have agency?  Should they have agency – it is a good thing?  Are we meant to … Continue reading

From research to the classroom:  roadblocks, resistance and blind faith.

In my work I regularly have the opportunity to talk to groups of teachers and leaders about ideas from research and research processes themselves. It’s a continual source of surprise to me how different the levels of engagement and awareness can be from one audience to another.  In some places, there’s a high level of … Continue reading

How self-aware are you? (Be the fly on your classroom wall…)

I use this slide in several of my talks – capturing some of the variables that I encounter working with teachers across the system.   Here, I want to focus on self awareness. With some teachers, you kick off a post-observation discussion with a simple question: (how do you think it’s going? ) and they … Continue reading

Your curriculum defines your school. Own it. Shape it. Celebrate it.

At the Heads’ Roundtable event this week I was making a pitch for school leaders to get stuck into a deep curriculum review process – as many already have.  Not because of the expectations of whatever accountability process is underway, but because it matters so much.   To a degree that is underplayed all too … Continue reading

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